JORDAN– Our Lady of Peace Center, in coordination with Caritas, has welcomed many Christians who fled from Iraq in the wake of Daesh assaults. The Latin Patriarchate launched an appeal not only to help them to survive, providing for their basic needs, but also to enable them to consider and rebuild their future without fear. For that purpose, a socio-educational program has been implemented, sponsored by the OESSJ Portuguese Lieutenancy, offering them classes of English, computer and physical education.

Over 200 Christian families were forced to flee from the town of Mosul in Iraq, after seeing all their belongings seized by militants of the Islamic State – homes, goods, and the little of effects and food which they took with them in their hasty escape. Jordan hosted around 1.000 Christians, and housed them in parishes, schools and institutions run by the Latin Patriarchate, with the help of Caritas Jordan.

These Christians arrived here without anything, stripped of everything except of the only clothing on their backs. Today they need a roof, to meet their daily needs, and to reshape their future. Initially, they were hosted in rooms at Our Lady of Peace Center, now the families are kept in mobile homes behind the Center, with the strict minimum and waiting for a better life.

Fr. Imad Twal, the Latin Patriarchate’s General Administrator visited them, and expressed his support and prayers, confirming the wish of the Latin Patriarchate to secure for them necessary relief.

These Christian families have to first of all be provided with essential needs (water, food, medication, clothing), knowing that hosting them at Our Lady of Peace Center constitutes a real daily challenge, at least from a sanitary point of view. Question of documentation is also at stake.  As refugees, these people have for the moment only a visa allowing them to stay in Jordan from 3 to 6 months. These families need to restore a normal pattern of life and to rebuild their future. Today, emergency involves also offering them moral support following the painful experience they had lived. Children especially need to feel secure. Above all, they aspire to lead a normal life, with education and social activities.

The Latin Patriarchate Project Development Office, together with our Lady of Peace Center had launched an appeal to secure for these families a socio-educational relief, by offering them courses in English, computer and physical education. The OESSJ Portuguese Lieutenancy has responded favorably and generously to this call enabling the project to be implemented without delay. These classes are now having a great success in giving the refugees back a feeling of trust. Attached are some pictures of the daily lessons. The families can now make use of their time in a more constructive manner during their stay at the Center, while they wait to reshape their future elsewhere.

These families still need support and prayers. Further projects will be launched to help them reconstruct their lives with dignity and all kind of help and supports are welcome.

Myriam Ambroselli